Executive Time Managament

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  • Executive Time Managament
  • Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Now, please indulge my potential niaivety for a moment if you will; I spend a fair bit of time wondering about this so have decided to seek some opiniion.

    It would appear that the great Execs/CEO’s, COO’s of our collective corporate companys somehow seem to manage what appears to be a 24hr life at work including global travel and so forth, seven kids and a time consuming (ie property renovation) hobby, whilst studying for a Masters at the weekends and making appearances at the local NFL teams speeches.

    Thing is, with the impression of the workload they give, versus the large pay packet how do they achieve it? I speak as a middle tier professional, with 2 kids and a mortgage much like any of us here, and I don’t have spare time for toffee (struggling to squeeze a ride in this week).

    So, is it an illusion? Do they really work the 9-5 with the odd “international call” in the evenings, or is there some secret that I’m niave to about how these people are managing thier time / using an illusion?

    b r
    Member

    My ex-boss (reported to ‘the man’) worked pretty much 24/7 and I even remember getting a call from him while he was on Safari, and was having to spend the day preparing a presentation.

    But, well rewarded, and seemed happy with it – although he’d give Mandleson a run in the ‘political’ stakes 😯

    I use to manage by been an early bird, usually in by 7, and as most of mine was UK/Europe didn’t have the evening issues that those who deal with the US do.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Two observations:

    1. The reality is different from the impression
    2. (but) good CEOs etc surround themselves with very good people. That’s the key. So-called leaders never do it on their own, they inspire (hopefully) or intimidate (sadly) those around them.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    The one Global leader I had a discussion with wouldn’t reveal anything. However, when I asked him how the Job I was promoted to ( an atypical “american” job title) is supposed to work / what I’m supposed to do, he responded “whatever you want it to be”.

    I wasn’t inspired.

    trail_rat
    Member

    i suspect they dont have time to spent on here/ Exec/ceo world for a start 😀

    one reason ill never make it to the top 😀

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    I have met some very talented senior executives who have a fantastic capacity for work. Most senior executives I know may preach work/life balance to their staff but they don’t have any of their own, they are very work orientated.

    I have met some duds but they have been in the mintority.

    As @teamhurtmore says the CEO of a FTSE sized company will have a team of talented hardworking people around him/her.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    I have met some very talented senior executives who have a fantastic capacity for work. Most senior executives I know may preach work/life balance to their staff but they don’t have any of their own, they are very work orientated.

    This is interesting. I observed my immediate boss’s lighting fast rise through the ranks to a global position. Being so close to him, I did see not only an uncanny ability for learning & politics, but a workload which (IMO) was detrimental to his family. He even joked once that (becuase he was jetting around the world) he didn’t have to deal with kids tantrums and baby changing/late nights etc. He did admit to me (after he was promoted)after a beer and in the pub he wasn’t interested in promoting me, as I was one of 3 essential to his cause at the time. :-/

    I abhorred him for that latter sentence and his familt idealogy , but I guess you make your choices etc. He’s now global MD. I’ve not gone that way, and as a result here I am, but with some of my evenings most of my weekends free for the family, and I’m happy with that.

    Teamhurtmore is right then. I guess the CEO’s I’m observing have that “team” which is why you see the same names moving around job positions quite frequently, or are working with a work orientated lifestyle.

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    CEO of the company where I work is a mother. Her husband is a junior minister. Quite how either of them find time for a family life, I have no idea.

    But it’s true – she does have some excellent people around her. Especially people like my boss – best time to speak to him is around midnight. His last emails usually stop around 1am, and start up again just after 6.

    He’s also the blocker to my long term future here, so happy as I am, I’ll be off to something else in due course.

    large418
    Member

    AFter observing some of these people and their rise to the top, my view is that they:
    -have a fantastic appetite for learning/information
    -can absorb and store information in one reading/glance
    -can easily retrieve information
    -are very decisive – they know the answer, they don’t seem to have to think
    -can see the bigger picture
    -are brilliant at delegation and following up tasks
    -bring the team with them (rather than dictator type)

    At the end of the day, they are in the top 1% of the population (the good ones), so the rest of us just need to accept we are not as good as them! (But learning from them is OK)

    davidjones15
    Member

    So-called leaders

    What is a so-called leader?

    brakes
    Member

    I get exposure to Executives in my work and for me time management simply comes down to the ability to:
    – make immediate and clear decisions
    – build a strong team to delegate to

    surfer
    Member

    Im not on a very senior level but a UK manager of a large business. It impacts on pretty much everything. Not the volume of work but work is in my mind most of the time.

    What is a so-called leader?

    Not sure I understand the question but I have met a few people I would consider “leaders” who have charisma, incredible people skills and the ability to remain calm under pressure. You usually know them when you see them!

    ska-49
    Member

    RANT START:

    My Dads a CEO and I can say its been pretty horrendous for the family. Im 22 now but hes held the position for a fairly long time. Constantly travelling and moving between countries. Ive lived in SA, Germany, US and now UK. As I grow up I realise how little hes actually been around. He’s a nice enough guy but completely work driven and I dont really know him.

    It comes to the point that he comes home for a weekend between 3-5 months and still manages to spend half the time on the phone/laptop. We havent had him for any family event for more than 2 whole days in the last 10 years.

    Once in a while we go with him to wherever hes going next but then its more of an excuse to travel. He wont be back till 1/2am and then be out the door in the morning before we are awake.

    My sisters 15 and has virtually grown up without a dad. He cant even tell me what GCSEs shes doing (3 choices). As he gets older I can tell hes starting to regret it. Seems to try to keep us sweet and is calling more often now, etc. Works his life but I think he really enjoys it.

    Ive done a few work work placements at the company and the impression I get is that they all really like him. Hes always got time for people in the business.

    He’s probably a workaholic and I cant seem him slowing down yet. He’s amazing at his job and has an addictive personality. He gives plenty to the family but its not a substitute for loosing a father figure.

    I think that whilst these people seem like they can manage everything perfectly at an impossible rate then your right. They’ll be sacrificing something along the way. They’re only human.

    Lesson I’ve learnt? I will never put my self/family in this position. I would prefer to take a step down if that means spending more time with the family.

    RANT FINISHED!

    I met Malcolm Brinded on a moutainbiking holliday of all places, he pretty much got up in the morning, spent a few hours on the phone, e-mails etc. Lunch was generaly spent on his blackbery doing the same, after riding another couple of hours, dinner, a few more phonecalls and repeat the next day.

    Basicly he fit in an 8 hour day in the times the rest of us waste being unproductive, and that was just on holliday!

    He also work from home for an hour or so at the start fo each day, then on the train on the way to work which bought him another 2 hours each way each day, a Working lunch, commute home then some time in the evening.

    It also helped he had access to a private Jet which meant he got as much riding in as the rest of us, but the days at the start/end of the holliday could be spent working rather than in endless transfers and airport ques.

    Basicly through a combination of enjoying his work so it didn’t seem like those extra hours were a chore, and having enough money that he could free up time (cleaner, nanny, private jet, 1st class train commute etc) he seemed to clock up 70+ hour weeks without breaking a sweat.

    On the other hand he got fired.

    davidjones15
    Member

    Not sure I understand the question

    If we consider that leaders are chosen by the followers and the rest are merely managers, there is no such thing as a so-called leader. The person is either a leader to the followers or not.
    Just my opinion.

    Steve77
    Member

    Having a good PA helps too. It’s amazing how much time admin can suck up otherwise

    Premier Icon ourmaninthenorth
    Subscriber

    Having a good PA helps too. It’s amazing how much time admin can suck up otherwise

    Our CEO’s PA has a PA. Not a joke and, given the volume and variety of the workload, it seems entirely sensible (if a little odd).

    Premier Icon wallop
    Subscriber

    Our CEO has a driver. Only found this out recently, not sure why I was surprised.

    davidjones15
    Member

    I wonder if they waste their time here.

    rudebwoy
    Member

    who wants to be the biggest barking dog ?

    brakes
    Member

    is it Digby?

    damo2576
    Member

    RANT START:

    My Dads a CEO and I can say its been pretty horrendous for the family. Im 22 now but hes held the position for a fairly long time. Constantly travelling and moving between countries. Ive lived in SA, Germany, US and now UK. As I grow up I realise how little hes actually been around. He’s a nice enough guy but completely work driven and I dont really know him.

    It comes to the point that he comes home for a weekend between 3-5 months and still manages to spend half the time on the phone/laptop. We havent had him for any family event for more than 2 whole days in the last 10 years.

    Once in a while we go with him to wherever hes going next but then its more of an excuse to travel. He wont be back till 1/2am and then be out the door in the morning before we are awake.

    My sisters 15 and has virtually grown up without a dad. He cant even tell me what GCSEs shes doing (3 choices). As he gets older I can tell hes starting to regret it. Seems to try to keep us sweet and is calling more often now, etc. Works his life but I think he really enjoys it.

    Ive done a few work work placements at the company and the impression I get is that they all really like him. Hes always got time for people in the business.

    He’s probably a workaholic and I cant seem him slowing down yet. He’s amazing at his job and has an addictive personality. He gives plenty to the family but its not a substitute for loosing a father figure.

    I think that whilst these people seem like they can manage everything perfectly at an impossible rate then your right. They’ll be sacrificing something along the way. They’re only human.

    Lesson I’ve learnt? I will never put my self/family in this position. I would prefer to take a step down if that means spending more time with the family.

    RANT FINISHED!

    Yeah but the Christmas presents must have been great!

    McHamish
    Member

    As someone who has recently been promoted to head of an EMEA projects team, I have too much to do…I get hundreds of emails a day.

    I’ve recently got into something called GTD (look it up), it’s common sense I guess and some people might think it Snake Oil, but it gives structure on how to approach a busy work life.

    Perhaps these successful CEOs are just able to do all this naturally, but I need a book!

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I’ve recently got into something called GTD

    Have you bought a filing case yet?

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Lol. Making a prioritised list and accepting stuff at the bottom may never get done doesn’t need a book. I used to write lists when I was managing. Sure, some things change position in the list, but I thought the concept was just common sense tbh.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    GTD is pretty anally prescriptive over how to organise everything!

    Biggest change I made was to switch off all email notifications, so I only see new mail when I chose to read it.

    McHamish
    Member

    Have you bought a filing case yet?

    There are some bits I skipped…

    jonba
    Member

    WIfe that doesn’t work is also helpful – organise the social life.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Email too. I used to fix times when I used to view email 7am, 11am, 2pm 4pm and 6pm with an eye on the fla
    Shing crack berry light in the evening.

    andyrm
    Member

    Biggest change I made was to switch off all email notifications, so I only see new mail when I chose to read it.

    ^^^^^^^^ This. I learned a lot a few years ago from an old boss all about this. Essentially make your work day about YOU – set clear time zones in the day, probably chunked down into 2 hour slots. Plan around those slots – concentrates the mind on tasks and sets clear timeframes to get them done.

    Do emails 3 times a day (first thing, lunchtime, end of day). If anyone needs you more urgently than that, they need to call you. If they can’t get hold of you on the phone and it is that desperately urgent, they need to come and see you.

    By reclaiming your time as your own, and rejecting the “always on demand” culture that mobiles, email, emails on mobile etc have created, you can easily see at least a 30% productivity increase.

    shooterman
    Member

    What a brilliant thread!

    I have never worked for a multinational. I do work in law and I am regularly dumbstruck at the apparent capability of some members of the profession (particularly at the bar) to do vast amounts of work.

    I always presumed there was some sort of almost masonic secret work schematic they applied but having observed and spoken to some of these folk I noted the following:

    1. They sleep very little and basically when they are not sleeping, they are working.
    2. They delegate almost every task which is not income generating eg one QC had a woman who quite literally filled his briefcase every morning with his papers for the day’s trials and colsultations.
    3. Invariably their partners either do not work or work part time assisting the husband / wife and run the family / social side of their lives.
    4. They have little or no family or social life. Very often they are single.
    5. They have the ability to grasp and retain complex information at lightening fast speed.
    6. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of their “line”.

    glupton1976
    Member

    It’s all about delegating isnt it? Once you get good enough at telling other folk what work needs doing you leave yourself with nothing but a pay cheque.

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Subscriber

    As a “global leader” and a senior executive for my employer, I can offer a few insights

    – I have a great team around me
    – I know how and when to delegate
    – I keep my diary constantly updated and get deadlines, meetings, calls etc in it as soon as possible
    – My life outside work goes in the diary too, so I know if I’ve got something on, it takes priority
    – I make decisions quickly
    – I get up early, walk the dog at 6am and check and respond to emails that have came in overnight. Kill two birds with one stone.
    – I’ll get to the office around 8:20am
    – I make a point of leaving the office at 5pm. Even if it means doing a bit at home, I’d rather be home than stuck in the office. I’ve got an office at home so it’s practical
    – I don’t take it too seriously. It’s only a job. If it gets to the point that it dominates my entire life, then it’s time to move on

    Premier Icon spawnofyorkshire
    Subscriber

    I’ve generally found the best senior managers/ executives/ directors i’ve worked for have been very good at absorbing information in a short time then coming up with a reasoned decision in a consistent way.
    It winds me up when you have the micro-manager types who are more bothered about how a proposal looks rather than what it does. I can deal with the formatting, they can deal with the decision to spend £250k on something

    I have a sibling at the high echelons of a multi-national and i would never want their job even though they earn my annual salary in three weeks after tax!!! btw sibling and partner work bloomin hard and still raise a young family, weekends are entirely about the kids and not work

    damo2576
    Member

    Wake before dawn
    Start early
    Finish early
    Strong team
    Good decision maker
    Good delegator
    Use some kind of task/time management system

    brakes
    Member

    can I also add:
    – don’t spend too long in one job and get embroiled in the baggage that comes with years of not dealing with low priority things such that they become high priority things

    Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    – don’t spend too long in one job and get embroiled in the baggage that comes with years of not dealing with low priority things such that they become high priority things

    or jump from job to job leaving a wake of unfinished and half baked projects behind you?

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    Yep that’s pretty much my experience of the modern “cult of leadership” its all a whirlwind of image and pretence and then move on.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    or jump from job to job leaving a wake of unfinished and half baked projects behind you?

    This, most high flier’s only skill is to look good upwards and get promoted before their half brained schemes go tits up. A teflon coated suit also helps…

    Premier Icon Andy
    Subscriber

    or jump from job to job leaving a wake of unfinished and half baked projects behind you?

    This, most high flier’s only skill is to look good upwards and get promoted before their half brained schemes go tits up. A teflon coated suit also helps…

    Yup my employer, a well known employee owned supermarket, look for managers to stay in post for sufficient time that they have clear up the $hit they cause. Lets face it we all cock up from time to time… the flip side is sometimes we have managers in post for waay to long. Difficult balance

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